1. Welcome and friendliness “How y’all doin’ today?” – “I’m very well thanks, how are you” – “Hey – and where are y’all from?” – “England” . . . normally precipitates a genial and interesting conversation . .
2. Gleaming silver roaring Big Trucks with (thankfully empty) gun-racks on the back.
3. Multicultural history Louisiana was owned first by the native Creek and Seminole Indians, then from the sixteenth century Spain, France, Spain again, Britain, France again, US, Florida, itself and the Confederacy. And throw in the German and Afro-Caribbean influences and you have an amazingly rich and colourful gumbo dish of food, music, architecture and art.
4. Shopping malls for my wife and daughter and my credit card.
5. Their cute little accents and expressions . . with drugstores, jelly, muffins, elevators, highways, rotaries, dudes, buddies, gas, trash and tailpipes, we are indeed two peoples divided by a common language.
6. Relaxed and sensible driving – they stick to speed limits on the whole and rarely tailgate you, cut you up or honk you down. They even give way to pedestrians and drive slowly in the towns!
7. Customer service IS important shops and restaurants greet you , pay attention to you and do try their best to serve you. Important Disclaimer : this comment excludes Walmart, Motel 6 and the grumpy lumpy woman in the garage on highway 10
8. Great value food – Yesterday in Waffles I had 2 eggs (up) bacon (3 strips) grits, hash browns, toast with grape jelly, and coffee + endless refills and smiles all for $7
9. WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get). Americans are what they are – big and brash, reserved and thoughtful, or playful and cheerful. And they don’t seem to mind each other and are happy to complement and compliment one another. They don’t seem so intent on envy, game-playing or point-scoring as we Europeans can do. And of course, they famously don’t do irony 🙂 [I don’t do ironing and am looking a little creased right now, but that’s another story . . . ]
10. Space and freedom – and lots lots LOTS of it! (see yesterday’s note)